Can I be fired if I missed work due to a medical condition?

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2011

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Can I be fired if I missed work due to a medical condition?

I was fired via text message because I called in due to the fact that I was at the hospital with asthma the night before. Everyone is telling me to sue but I am curious if I have a case on these terms. Also, I never received my final paycheck, which I was also told that I would receive within 48 hours of termination. What do I do?

Asked on June 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a company *may* fire someone who misses work, if that person did not use some accrued leave (e.g. sick time) for the absence; there is no general right to miss work. That said, if you and your company both met the criteria for coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it may be that you had the right to take unpaid leave--though even in that case, you generally have to ask for the leave first. (Also, as noted, there are eligibilty criteria; for example, the company at which you worked must have had at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius). Therefore, while you *might* have some recourse, there is very good chance you do not, and your firinng was proper, even if most would consider it unfair.

As to your final paycheck--most states specific when it must be paid, and make it sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately, MS does not; therefore, the employer can certain take some time about paying it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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